Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Book Review: 'Kilimanjaro Diaries: Or, How I Spent a Week Dreaming of Toilets, Drinking Crappy Water, and Making Bad Jokes While Having the Time of My Life' by Eva Melusine Thieme

Tennessee author Eva Melusine Thieme not only has written this inimitable travel memoir cum hilarious parody but she also is the founder of Joburg Expat, an award-winning blog chronicling her family's life in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her articles on expat living, travel, and parenting (she is mother to four teenagers!) have been published in numerous publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, SA People, and Kansas City Parent Magazine.

Eva is a natural comedienne, an observer who can look at everything and anything around her and find the core of humor in it. Perhaps that is why is so refreshing as well as entertaining to read her very popular book KILAMANJARO DIARIES (the subtitle alone is a good belly laugh!).
Eva supplies her own synopsis that touches on some of the innumerable highlights of this ‘migration’: ‘When expat blogger and mother of four Eva Melusine Thieme first harbors the idea of ringing out her three years in Africa on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, it sounds easy. In fact, it has all the trappings of a dream vacation: no cooking, no fighting kids, and an army of porters to lug everything up the mountain. What can go wrong? Tag along as Eva takes you on her journey up the slopes of Kilimanjaro together with her teenage son and a group of hilarious South African friends. From planning the trip to shopping for supplies to trudging uphill wishing with all her heart for an ice cold sip of water untainted by chlorination tablets, you will follow her step by step on her quest to scale the world's highest free-standing mountain. But the list of challenges is long: sub-zero temperatures, blistered feet, long drop toilets (of which, you may learn, the drops are not nearly as long as they have once been, if you get the drift), and the ever-threatening altitude sickness no one can quite escape from. Eva's climb turns into the most difficult test she has ever faced, and ultimately she must make a fateful decision on that mountain.’

Rich in humor and a hefty dollop of humanity and interaction with not only nature but eh peoples of the land she visits, This book is a joy – and there is much to learn from Eva’s adventures and dream fulfillment. Grady Harp, April 16

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.